Norwegian Classic Voyage Northbound
What began as a mail and cargo route is now one of the world’s most spectacular cruising experiences, yet still serves as a supply line into the coastal communities. Flexible with daily sailings, casual and informal, unique with exceptional crews, the classic northbound Norwegian Coastal Voyage takes you from Bergen to Kirkenes one way. After your cruise you can spend some extra time exploring the far north of the country or fly back to Oslo.
- The drama of the scenery and the wildlife will stir the explorer in you
- Visit fascinating and scenic ports of call, many north of the polar circle
- Join excursions tailor-made to match your exploration level
- Cross the Arctic Circle at N 66.33 south of Bodø
- Journey to the northernmost point on the continent, the North Cape, N 71 parallel
Daily, Year Round
Spring: April 1 – May 31
Summer: June 1 – August 31
Autumn: September 1 – October 31
Winter: January 1 – March 31
Prices starting from US$977 (winter) to US$2,247 (summer) – twin
Prices starting from US$1,005 (winter) to US$1,940 (summer) – twin
Starting from prices are shown as a guideline to lead-in cabin pricing, in US$ per person, based on two people sharing a twin, inside cabin on the MS Lofoten. Outside cabins and suites are also available as well as single cabins for solo travellers. As there are daily sailings on a variety of ships in the fleet, all with different cabin categories and price structures, your choice of date, ship and cabin category will determine your prices. These cruises have a flexible pricing system and all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability, which can change without notice. Please inquire for an accurate quote for the cruise of your choice.
The 7-day Classic Northbound Voyage starts in Bergen, a city surrounded by seven mountains. Before your departure, you may wish to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, and was the capital of Norway for several years. The city is a central point for Norwegian travel, and has retained a great deal of local character and history. One example of this is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs that date back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming and compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the famous fish market.
You sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, heading to the high north. This is the same route the Vikings once plied to the Shetland Islands and beyond.! Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you admire the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in our panorama lounges.
We continue north to Ålesund, a beautiful town filled with perfect examples of Art Nouveau architecture. If you travel in summer or fall there, is a fjord experience to behold. During the winter, we fascinate you with our expert-led lectures about the aurora borealis, the northern lights.
If you wake up early you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we enter the open ocean before navigating through skerries and islands to reach Ålesund. Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers, and ornate buildings, Ålesund is renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. A devastating fire in 1904 burned a large proportion of the city to the ground, and it was rebuilt in the fashionable style of the time: Art Nouveau. You have the opportunity to explore this charming Art Nouveau city on a walking tour or on your own.
If you like marine life, join us on a visit to Atlanterhavsparken – one of Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums. The tour includes a visit to the open-air pool to see the resident penguins. After visiting Atlanterhavsparken, we continue onward and upward to Mount Aksla, where you get an amazing panorama view of the area.
In the summer months, we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, passing steep, 2,500 ft cliffs and impressive waterfalls. In autumn, we explore the Hjørundfjord, situated amid the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Far from the tourist hustle and bustle, its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character You will sail past steep rock walls that you can nearly reach out and touch, emerald-green meadows, lonely mountain farms, and small villages.
Few large cities have managed to preserve their intimacy as effectively as Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim. Viking King Olav Tryggvason, founded this ancient city in 997. An optional excursion takes you to Norway’s national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral, the country’s only Gothic-style cathedral, built over the burial place of St. Olav (Tryggvason), Norway’s patron saint. During spring and summer, we continue to the Ringve Museum of Musical History, where the history of Norway’s music is brought to life. This beautiful manor house is surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden, and provides fantastic views of both the city and the fjord.
From September to May, you can experience Trondheim on the world’s northernmost cable car for a unique sightseeing experience. You can also explore Trondheim from sea level in a kayak along the river Nid throughout the year, or experience the city on a bicycle (April to September) and try out the bicycle lift to get you up the hill.
In the afternoon, the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous islets and rocky reefs. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship heads toward charming Rørvik.
Today we cross the Arctic Circle! This invisible line is situated at 66 degrees, 33 minutes North and demarcates the Arctic region. In summer, this means enjoying 24-hour daylight and the midnight sun. During winter, this latitude provides the best chances to experience the northern lights. Even if you aren’t awake when we cross the Arctic Circle, the captain will make sure that the occasion is memorable: If you are sailing in Arctic waters for the first time, you can participate in a daytime Arctic Circle ceremony out on deck.
Near the village of Ørnes is Svartisen, Norway’s second-largest glacier. Join us for a trip to the Svartisen Tourist Center in summer and admire the beauty of this enigmatic ice world. Afterward, the excursion continues along the beautiful Helgeland coastline to Bodø, where you rejoin the ship. In Bodø, you can join an adventure in harmony with nature, eagles, and the deep blue sea. The excursion heads to Saltstraumen in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), where you witness the world’s most powerful tidal current. There is also a good chance you’ll observe sea eagles on this exciting journey through wild landscape.
Later the same afternoon, we spot the 3,000 ft high Lofoten Wall on the horizon. Tucked between tall mountains, majestic granite cliffs, and white-sand beaches, seeing beautiful Lofoten is a truly extraordinary experience. The additional charm of the Lofoten Islands is revealed in its small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere. Take a stroll between stockfish racks and traditional fisherman’s huts called ‘rorbuer’.
At Stamsund, join a historical journey to the Lofotr Viking Museum, where you are invited into the chieftain’s house, a full-size reconstruction featuring exhibits of finds dating back to the Viking Age. The chieftain and lady of the house invite you to join them for a real Viking meal in the banquet hall, providing a taste of the Viking Age, complete with traditional food, drinks, costumes, singing, and dancing.
Between Stamsund and Svolvær, you have the chance to experience life on an organic herb and cheese farm, or visit the Lofoten’s only craft brewery, situated in an old fish-landing facility in Svolvær.
In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when our hunt for the northern lights begins. We celebrate the event by presenting a multimedia show, The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis, featuring pictures, words, and music. As we sail through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to the Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You also hear the story of the battle of Trollfjord, which took place here in the winter of 1890.
Get ready for a day full of exciting activities, whatever the season! During the morning hours, we briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad, and Finnsnes. The ship then proceeds to Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic, for a prolonged stay. Many epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point. Join our Polar History Walk excursion in winter to learn more about the explorers and Arctic hunters, and to taste beer made at the world’s northernmost brewery.
In winter and spring, you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling dog sled ride. On this mini polar expedition, the huskies pull you over the frozen landscape while you enjoy stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and open plateaus. During the polar night, the only light comes from our headlamps, the starry sky, and, if we’re lucky, the magical northern lights. You can also enjoy some winter fun by joining a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure, or go deep-sea fishing on an Arctic fjord. Throughout the year you can join the expedition team for hikes and discover more of Tromsø and its surroundings.
In summer experience peace and tranquility on the sea on a kayaking excursion. Paddle in the waters off the Tromsø coastline with the mountains as a stunning backdrop. This is a great way to silently glide through these pristine waters and get close to marine wildlife.
After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. The ship is now sailing into waters where you have the best chance of seeing the northern lights between September and March. We gather on deck to search the skies for this remarkable cosmic phenomenon.
Enjoy magnificent sub-Arctic landscapes as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey toward the North Cape, one of the northernmost points on the European continent. In summer, you may see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. After a brief, early stop in Hammerfest we arrive in Havøysund, where you can disembark for an overland RIB boat ride and hike to the North Cape during the summer months. We pass scenic bird cliffs on our way to Hornvika, where we hike the old historical route up to the North Cape plateau.
The ship arrives in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. An optional excursion to the North Cape plateau puts you at 71° 10’ 21” N, only 1,245 miles away from the Geographic North Pole. Standing atop the 1,000 ft high North Cape plateau imparts a sublime sense of being at the end of the world. Join us for a birdwatching safari (April to September) to one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan, and experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins and a large number of kittiwakes. Guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, Arctic skuas, northern fulmars, Brünnich’s guillemots, and the large northern gannet fill the air with a cacophony of shrieks and screeches, and all the while the giant sea eagles soar above.
If you want to learn more about local life in this remote region, join a fishing village visit that takes you across the island of Magerøya’s fantastic scenery to the fishing communities of Kamøyvær and Skarsvåg. Along the way, your guide tells you about the area’s nature, its local culture, and history.
The ship then continues north, sailing into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation of Finnkirka, as we approach the fishing village of Kjøllefjord. Learn about Sámi traditions and their way of life, and hear traditional Sámi ‘joiking’ (song). In winter, you can join an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas. Experience snowy valleys, fresh winter air, and perhaps even the mesmerizing northern lights in the starry sky. Autumn Sámi excursions teach you about the Arctic’s natural ‘pantry’ and ‘pharmacy’, and you can sample dried reindeer meat, crowberry juice, herbal tea (made with nettles), and a roseroot tincture. You may also feel the presence of the Sámi shaman: Noaidi.
The vistas become more dramatic as we approach Kirkenes, just a few miles from the Russian boarder. We arrive early in nearby Vadsø and then into Kirkenes just after breakfast. At E 30° Kirkenes is farther east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul! This is the turning point of your ship and your final port of call on this one-way journey. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and the gateway to the east. You will notice that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
We recommend you add on a day or two to explore this fascinating area. Depending on the season, there are many ways to visit the Russian border, by bus (all year), by riverboat or an action-packed trip on an ATV/quad-bike (summer). Kirkenes also boasts several fascinating small museums recounting the remote region’s remarkably rich history and heritage.
Spending time in Kirkenes provides the opportunity to take part in numerous adventurous activities in the Arctic environment. In winter and spring, you can join excursion such as exploring the Arctic wilderness on a snowmobile and driving over a frozen fjord. On our dog sled adventures, huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen Arctic landscape. In summer, you can join an excursion where you catch and eat giant king crabs from the Barents Sea.
You have the option of flying out of Kirkenes today, back south to Oslo where you can stay a few days or continue on your journey home or to your next destination.
- 7-day voyage in the cabin category of your choice
- Full-board meal plan
- English speaking tour leader on board
- Entrance fee to the Hurtigruten museum (on most voyages)
- Current fuel supplements as assessed
- Flights to Bergen and from Kirkenes
- Optional drink plans
- Optional Shore excursions
- Airport transfers
- Luggage Handling
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
Extend your trip: Add on some time in Bergen before your cruise, Kirkenes or Oslo after your cruise; take a train ride through the stunning interior of Norway or do a self-drive. No matter where you go or what you do, this country is sure to delight!
Each season highlights different aspects of Norway’s beauty.
Spring: waterfalls are spectacular due to spring runoff of melting snow; May 17th Constitution Day
Summer: warmest weather; longest days; midnight sun
Fall: colourfull foliage
Winter: Northern Lights; Kirkenes features snow hotel, dogsledding and snowmobile tours
Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.